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Archive for September, 2019

Back Issue #75

When the external sky and landscape match the gloomy October Country inside my skull and my soul, I feel at home and at peace.  –  “Diary #326

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The only way you gonna stop him is kill him.  –  “Lawman” Brindell Wilkins

As regular readers know, cute kid videos are not really my thing.  But this perfect example of little boy behavior, provided by Mike Siegel, was so hilarious I had to make an exception.  The links above it were supplied by Tim Cushing, Mike Chase, Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, Furrygirl, and Phoenix Calida, in that order.

From the Archives

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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Collectivism, the foul authoritarian belief that individuals do not own their own bodies and lack the right to manage their own lives, is the single greatest threat to human growth and happiness in the modern age.  All of the “-isms” which are used to promote violence, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, war and many other abominations are forms of collectivism; the list includes (but is not limited to) racism, fascism, communism, feminism, nationalism, progressivism and theocracy.  These poisonous ideologies teach that some authority has the “right” to control individuals, to spy upon them, take their property, inflict violence upon them, lock them in cages like animals or even murder them, in the name of some nebulosity like “the State”, “society”, “The Homeland”, “equality”, “God”, “the common good”, “public order”, or whatever.  And while the ways in which the monsters advance their evil agenda are countless, today I’d like to briefly look at one small example:  the war on cannabis, invented in the 1930s by the US government as part of a racist campaign to suppress Hispanic people; continued and escalated to ensure the power and profits of various fascist stakeholders such as pharmaceutical companies, brewers, prison guard unions, the incarceration industry, cops, and politicians; and re-justified every couple of decades since by the usual collectivist filth such as appeals to “public health”, lies about “crime”, scaremongering about “THE CHILDREN™!!!”, etc.  This common herb is not only the safest known mind–altering substance (its LD50 is so high no death from overdose has ever been recorded), it’s also incredibly cheap, non-addictive, available in as many varieties as its far more dangerous distant cousin alcohol, and capable of being absorbed into the body in a number of different ways.  Its best-known property is relaxation/sedation, but some people find it suppresses nausea and/or relieves pain; others find it has aphrodisiac effects; and studies demonstrate its effectiveness as a remedy for a number of ailments including glaucoma, arthritis and possibly even some forms of cancer.  I personally have found it invaluable for my insomnia and anxiety, and I’ve recently realized that lingering effects of daily use help me to stay calm in situations that would normally agitate me, even though I am not impaired and otherwise feel completely normal.  Even small doses dramatically increase my sensitivity to the nuances of artistic performance, and large doses have enabled a spiritual journey over the past four years which has greatly eased my troubled mind and brought me to a place of emotional peace I have never before had and never imagined I could have.  And yet, the collectivists would have me ignore all this, returning to a state of constant emotional, psychological and spiritual turmoil, because a bunch of sociopathic “leaders” who died before I was born believed it was their “right” to violently persecute their fellow humans for having darker skins than they did, and choosing a beneficial plant as the excuse for their violence.  And because other sociopaths I wouldn’t even trust to park my car, much less run my life, have chosen to inflict violence on huge numbers of people using that decades-old racist agenda as their excuse.  And because “the law is the law”.  In short, I’m supposed to hand over control of my life, my body and even my mind to a clique of violent apes who pretend that they know better about what is good for me than I do; that the majority of people think that this actually makes moral sense is the best argument for anarchism one could ever hope for.

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Diary #482

Though I have several friends who are unhappy to see summer go, I don’t share their enthusiasm for long, bright, hot days.  And so as the days shorten and cool and the typical Seattle rains return until June, I breathe a sigh of relief at every sunset and I can feel the tension and anxiety slowly leaving my body.  It didn’t hurt that this year I discovered I could offset a lot of the summer anxiety by simply starting my evening edible an hour or two early; dealing with a lot of that on a daily basis prevented it from building up to the point where it took over a month to recover from, and that means I’m already starting to relax even though autumn just arrived with this week.  I’ve turned off the air conditioner and put away the floor fan; my desk lamp is going on earlier and I’m starting my edible a bit later again, and though I had to travel to Washington DC again this week (for my reception for The War on Whores tonight at the Reason magazine offices), I took it in stride and my nerves stayed relatively unfrazzled yesterday.  Let’s hope that all bodes well for the rest of this year, and the next as well.

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The investigator cannot just tread through the bloody crime scene in street shoes and pick up the murder weapon with an ungloved hand.  –  Tami Loehrs

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

…Edina [Minnesota] Rotary member Renee Harberts [recited the “sex traffickin” Shahada]…and [then publicly described her disgusting sexual fantasies about]…kids as young as five…[prohibitionists fantasize]…one in seven kids are sexually abused and later in life they’re more likely to fall victim to sex trafficking.  93% of adult sex trafficking victims were sexually abused in their elementary years and never tell anyone about it….Harberts and a few members convinced the rest of the rotary to…raise…$10,000 to [indoctrinate] 3rd graders in Edina schools [in ’80s-era “Stranger Danger” propaganda, updated with a modern version of 19th century “white slavery” propaganda]…The group invited a panel of three experts to [publicly fantasie] about human trafficking…”We know that 0.02% of trafficking victims find freedom,” [moaned] Carla Marroquin of Protect Me Project [with her hand in her pants]…“The recidivism rate is between nine and eleven times that they will go back to the life of human trafficking”…

Bottleneck (#746) 

Yet another example of why sex worker licensing is a terrible idea:

…in Senegal…sex workers must register with police, attend mandatory monthly sexual health screenings, test negative for STIs and carry a valid ID card confirming their health status…But…sex work is still criminalized…for those who are unregistered, which effectively creates a two-tiered system…sex workers face enormous social stigma and discrimination…the…[estimated] level of registration [is extremely high at] 20% [which is twice the highest fraction recorded anywhere else in the world, probably because of the high rate of HIV in Senegalese sex workers]…the registration law was first introduced in 1969 — inherited from French colonial legislation that stuck around even after Senegal declared independence…Women who are registered live in fear that family members will discover their identification cards, or…see their name on a registration database …”When you are registered, you are registered for life,” said [Professor Cheikh Tidiane] Ndour [of the Ministry of Health]…”Even if you stop pursuing this profession, your great-grandchildren can find your name somewhere, and that is a problem”…If registered sex workers miss their monthly appointments they can face up to six months in jail…[and of course] registered sex workers [are] more likely than unregistered…to experience [rape, robbery, extortion and other] violence at the hands of [cops]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a picture of a Nerf gun”?

[Cops] in…Phoenix, Arizona, [interrogated] a teenager and his parents and searched their home and the kid’s school after the teen posted to a group chat a jokey message…[about] going to school the next day posted alongside a photo of a Nerf gun…one of the…chat participants narced on the exchange and set the wheels of officialdom in motion…As red flag laws and other reporting systems proliferate around the country, we’re likely to see even more incidents in which cops…are [summoned] into innocuous situations by people who refuse to ask simple questions or to believe that we’re living in a remarkably safe age…in the Phoenix incident, school officials proactively assured parents that the incident was “not a credible threat”…but…Justine and Nathan Myers were similar victims…after 16-year-old Nathan documented a shooting outing with his mother on Snapchat….somebody contacted Colorado’s Safe2Tell, a[n]…anonymous…[snitch line]…Nathan was banned from school until public outrage forced officials to reverse their decision…

Disaster (#931)

I’m sure you amateurs are happy to be censored “for THE CHILDREN™!”:

…Twitch suspended a streamer named Quqco for wearing a cosplay of Street Fighter heroine Chun-Li on stream, deeming her outfit “sexually suggestive”…[even though it] was not…streamer Bridgett Devoue was given a three-day suspension for [unexplained]…“sexually suggestive content or activities”…Overwatch streamer Fareeha got hit with a warning (and a 90-day probationary period) after wearing a sports bra and baggy shorts at the gym…Saruei [got]…a warning for drawing “nudes,” despite the fact that her characters…are clothed…

Pyrrhic Victory (#937) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco has already banned the use of facial recognition tech by local [cops].  Oakland did the same thing a couple of months later.  Pretty soon, it’s not going to matter where you are in California.  If you’re a law enforcement agency, facial recognition tech is off-limits…for three years…The bill…also targets other biometric surveillance methods…It forbids direct use by California law enforcement agencies, as well as prevents them from asking agencies outside the state (including federal agencies) from deploying this tech on their behalf.  It also blocks state agencies from using cameras (body, dash, stationary) that utilize this tech.  If this bill is signed into law, California will become the first state [with such a] ban…

You may have noticed that laws claiming to restrict government powers never carry a criminal penalty, despite the fact that every law intended to control subjects of the government always do.  Also note that unlike laws intended to control the people, this has a conveniently-short sunset clause so the legislature needn’t do anything to quietly get rid of it once the frogs get used to the new temperature of their water.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

Politicians are gradually coming to realize that their constituency includes sex workers and clients:

A strip club will stay open despite [prohibitionist efforts to put scores of women out of work]…Sheffield council’s licensing committee met for eight hours to discuss whether Spearmint Rhino should have its sexual entertainment licence renewed.  [Industrial spies] employed by [misogynistic censors] had [filmed] dancers [against their consent in an attempt to shame the committee into wrongfully revoking the license, but]…dancers from the club…campaigned to save [it]…

Law of the Instrument (#954)

If his victims hadn’t been sex workers, would “authorities” have let him rack up three before bothering to act?

Ed Buck, who has been subject to protests and calls for prosecution in the overdose deaths of two men at his West Hollywood home, was arrested [last week] in connection with a third overdose…the Los Angeles district attorney’s office [seems to have finally realized]…that Buck is “a violent, dangerous sexual predator”…[who] personally administered “dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims”…Activists have been calling for Buck’s arrest…for the deaths of Gemmel Moore…and Timothy Dean…both black gay men were found in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment less than two years apart…[due to] methamphetamine overdoses…Buck…has now been charged with operating a drug house and providing meth to a…who overdosed last week…but survived…

Business As Usual (#956)

Even by nauseatingly-low local news standards, the sound of bootlicking in this is deafening:

Several months after Columbus police disbanded its vice [gang, badge-lickers] in a south Columbus neighborhood [whine] they feel it every day.  “When you have the prostitutes, it just breeds the drugs, all kinds of stuff. There are children seeing that it’s ok and it’s not ok,” said [pompous busybody Ima Copsucker]…a block watch coordinator [who] spends hours every day [minding other people’s business]…She was hoping…[her beloved pigs] could help [root out] the human trafficking problem in the area…Columbus [pigs oink that what they absurdly call]…the human trafficking problem…has gotten worse since the vice [herd] has been disbanded…

What’s that you say, Ima? “There are all these black people out in public since they ended Jim Crow.  Something needs to be done to keep them in their place, preferably with violence.”  Yep, that’s what I thought you said.

Dangerous Speech (#968)

The government keeps trying to hide information in the Backpage case:

…prosecutors sought to continue stonewalling defense counsel on access to data on more than 100 servers that once kept…Backpage…in operation…But U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich denied the government’s request that she reject a defense motion to examine the material on those servers in the same condition as when the government seized the website on April 6, 2018.  Instead, Brnovich scheduled a day-long evidentiary hearing for October 3, during which [pigs] and expert witnesses are expected to testify…As explained in the defense’s motion to compel evidence, the 106 servers seized by the government contained historical data about Backpage’s ads that can refute the feds’ allegations, show that Backpage’s moderation efforts “blocked or removed approximately one million ads per month,” and reveal extensive cooperation with [cops] and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…In fact…Backpage referred so many ads to NCMEC  that the government-backed non-profit complained about the number of referrals, since [most] of those ads were later found not to involve minors…

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Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

For one educated in the Seventies and Eighties, and trained as a librarian in the early Nineties, the landscape of intellectual freedom has become almost unrecognizeable.  For the majority of my life, and the majority of time for which “Banned Books Week” has existed, top-down censorship attempts in the Western world were rare; attempts to ban books, censor websites and suppress speech generally came from non-government authoritarian groups and the majority of educated people could be counted on to oppose and ridicule them.  But in this century, the sick need to control others’ thoughts grew as the internet made it easier for those thoughts to be shared, and early last year top-down government censorship returned with a vengeance thanks to the Great Unwashed eagerly swallowing racist claims about “human trafficking” and magically baneful effects of anything to do with sex.  The US enacted FOSTA, leading to a wave of internet censorship; the UK is trying to build a massive firewall comparable to China’s; the EU has enacted law after law allowing greedy corporations and finger-pointing Prunellas alike power over others’ web-browsing; and every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  Free speech (derided by “progressive”-flavored authoritarians as “freeze peach”) has noticeably declined all over the world:

…First, ruling parties in many countries have found new tools for suppressing awkward facts and ideas.  Second, they feel emboldened to use such tools, partly because global support for free speech has faltered.  Neither of the world’s superpowers is likely to stand up for it. China ruthlessly censors dissent at home and exports the technology to censor it abroad.  The United States, once a champion of free expression, is now led by a man who says things like…“free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad”…Censorious authoritarians elsewhere often cite Mr Trump’s catchphrases, calling critical reporting “fake news” and critical journalists “enemies of the people”.  The notion that certain views should be silenced is popular on the left, too.  In Britain and America students shout down speakers they [disagree with]…and Twitter mobs demand the sacking of anyone who violates an expanding list of taboos.  Many western radicals contend that if they think something is offensive, no one should be allowed to say it.  Authoritarians elsewhere agree.  What counts as offensive is subjective, so “hate speech” laws can be elastic tools for criminalising dissent…

That article has a lot of good examples of the rise of (often violent) censorship, but beware; even the authors of this ostensibly pro-free-thought piece have been infected by the need to choose a “side” and skew information accordingly.  As I wrote four years ago, Ray Bradbury’s view of future censorship practices was prescient; where else but in “a culture which values feelings above thought” could a video display service ban an historically-important anti-Nazi diocumentary from 1938 for violating its policy against “hate speech”?  Or perhaps Google is just feeling a bit self-conscious, given that it’s currently in a fascist collaboration to develop a censorship-enabled search engine for China.  Meanwhile, the US is trying to silence Edward Snowden by seizing the profits from his new book; I suggest you buy a paper copy to preclude Amazon’s stealing electronic copies from your Kindle at the behest of its pals in Washington.  The censor-morons are loose, and they’re attacking the small targets so their totalitarian masters can expend their energy on big ones like the internet, the publishing industry and what little is left of the independent press.

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